Bulldogs, Saint Mary's In Big Monday Contest

Feb. 5, 2006

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Men's Basketball Game Facts
Game No. 22 - Saint Mary's Gaels
Mon., Feb. 6 - 9 p.m. PST
McCarthey Athletic Center - Spokane, WA
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: ESPN2 (Big Monday)
No. 5 GONZAGA UNIVERSITY BULLDOGS (18-3; 8-0 West Coast)
G -   5 Derek Raivio, 6-3, 175, Jr., Vancouver, WA
       (12.7 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 2.5 assists, 1.4 steals)
G -   4 Pierre Marie Altidor-Cespedes, 6-0, 181, So., Montreal, Quebec
       (4.1 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 2.6 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.3 blocks)
C -  13 J.P. Batista, 6-9, 269, Sr., Olinda, Pernambuco, Brazil
       (19.2 ppg, 9.0 rpg, 1.4 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.7 blocks)
F -    3 Adam Morrison, 6-8, 205, Jr., Spokane, WA
       (28.8 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 1.7 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.4 blocks)
F -  32 Sean Mallon, 6-9, 218, Jr., Spokane, WA
       (7.0 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 1.1 assists, 0.3 steals, 0.4 blocks)
HEAD COACH:  Mark Few (University of Oregon, 1987)
GONZAGA RECORD:  177-40 (7th year - 17th at GU)  CAREER RECORD:  Same.

SAINT MARY'S COLLEGE GAELS (10-10; 3-5 West Coast) G - 24 Todd Golden, 6-3, 175, So., Phoenix, AZ (6.9 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 2.7 assists, 0.7 steals) G - 32 John Winston, 6-4, 220, Jr., Vallejo, CA (7.6 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 3.5 assists, 1.6 steals) C - 33 Blake Sholberg, 7-1, 260, Jr., Vacaville, CA (4.3 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 0.3 assists, 0.6 blocks) F - 14 Daniel Kickert, 6-10, 240, Sr., Melbourne, Australia (17.3 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 0.9 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.5 blocks) F - 23 Brett Collins, 6-5, 225, Jr., Phoenix, AZ (10.7 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 0.8 assists, 0.8 steals) HEAD COACH: Randy Bennett (UC San Diego, 1986) SMC RECORD: 78-66 (5th year) CAREER RECORD: Same GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA: None.

Game No. 23 - Stanford Cardinal
Sat., Feb. 11 - 6 p.m. PST
McCarthey Athletic Center - Spokane, WA
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: ESPN (College Game Day)
G -   1 Mitch Johnson, 6-1, 185, Fr., Seattle, WA
      (4.1 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 3.6 assists, 1.2 steals)
G -  11 Chris Hernandez, 6-2, 190, Sr., Fresno, CA
      (13.7 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 3.3 assists, 1.2 steals)
C -  52 Matt Haryasz, 6-11, 230, Sr., Page, AZ
      (18.5 ppg, 9.3 rpg, 1.5 assists, 0.4 steals, 1.5 blocks)
F -  20 Dan Grunfeld, 6-6, 220, Sr., River Hills, WI
      (12.7 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 2.3 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.4 blocks)
F -  31 Taj Finger, 6-8, 190, So., Mt. Kisco, NY
      (5.1 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 1.2 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.7 blocks)
HEAD COACH:  Trent Johnson (Boise State, 1983)
SU RECORD:  30-20 (2nd year)  CAREER RECORD:  109-94 (7th year)
GAMES PRIOR TO GONZAGA: 2/9 at California.

Gonzaga puts the nation's longest winning streak and a perfect 8-0 West Coast Conference on the record Monday when Saint Mary's visits the McCarthey Athletic Center for a Big Monday contest on ESPN2. Tipoff is 9 p.m. in a game that matches the top two finishers in the WCC each of the past two seasons. Gonzaga edged the Gaels by a game last season, the Bulldogs going 12-2 to the Gaels 11-3. Saint Mary's was tied for second in 2004 behind the 14-0 Bulldogs, the Gaels checking in at 9-5.

Gonzaga took over the top spot for the longest current home court winning streak in the NCAA Division I ranks and tied the school mark of 34 on Saturday, the Bulldogs taking care of a business with an 85-71 win over Santa Clara. Illinois, which shared the top spot with the Bulldogs entering Saturday's play, fell 66-65 to Penn State, the Illini having the game-winning buzzer-beater voided when, following a review, the officials ruled the shot didn't get off in time. The last time Gonzaga had a 34-game home court winning streak was from Dec. 1, 1992-Jan. 3, 1995, that streak the second-longest in the nation at the time. The Bulldogs current streak began Feb. 22, 2003, with a 69-60 win over Tulsa in the inaugural Bracket Buster presented by ESPN.

Gonzaga's Adam Morrison garnered both the weekly and monthly honors handed out by the West Coast Conference. He shared Player of the Week honors with Pepperdine's Tashaan Forehan-Kelly. Morrison scored 42 points in the Bulldogs win over Portland, one shy of his career high and his fourth 40+ game of the season. He hit 14-of-26 shots from the field. In winning Player of the Month honors for the second straight Month the junior averaged 31.0 ppg in leading Gonzaga to a 7-0 record for the month. He shot 54.4 percent from the field (74-136), 43.8 percent from 3-point range (14-32) and 82.6 percent from the free throw line (57-69). He also grabbed 5.6 rpg and dished out 1.3 assists/game. He finished the month with back-to-back 40-point games with 41 at San Francisco and 42 against Portland.

Gonzaga's 9-game winning streak is tied for second with four others through games of Saturday. Memphis heads the list with a 10-game streak. George Washington, in the five-team logjam for second, had a Sunday date with Richmond to try and catch Memphis for the top spot.

Adam Morrison recorded his fourth 40+ game of the season and his ninth 30+ contest of the year with his 42 points against Portland. He became the first Bulldog since Frank Burgess to record back-to-back 40-point games, scoring 41 at San Francisco prior to the Portland game. Burgess had 41 against Idaho State on Dec. 9, 1960, and 44 against Whitworth on Dec. 12, 1960.

Gonzaga moved up to fifth in both the Associated Press and USA TODAY/ESPN Top 25 polls last week. The new rankings will be released Monday prior to the Bulldogs Big Monday tip off with Saint Mary's.

Adam Morrison remains atop the NCAA Division I scoring leaderboard with his 28.8 average through games of Saturday. J.J. Redick of Duke scored 36 points and is at 28.1 ppg, and Grambling State's Brion Rush scored 53 points Saturday to move into third at 27.3 ppg. Andre Collins of Loyola (Md.) was averaging 27.1 ppg heading into a Sunday game at Manhattan. 9.0 ppg. Gonzaga's Derek Raivio is still the nation's top free throw shooter at 96.4 percent through Saturday's games. Raivio is 53-for-55 from the line.

Since Gonzaga's streak of seven straight NCAA Tournament appearances began in 1999, the Bulldogs have gone 95-11 in West Coast Conference regular-season play, including 17 straight victories. Overall in that stretch the Bulldogs are 112-12 against WCC foes including WCC Tournament games. The Bulldogs have been most dominant against Saint Mary's, posting a 20-1 overall record and 14-1 regular-season record. Only Pepperdine, San Diego and Santa Clara have managed to beat the Bulldogs more than once over the last eight seasons. Pepperdine and USD have turned the trick three times each, while SCU has a pair of wins over the Bulldogs. The Bulldogs lost 73-70 at San Francisco last season before running off nine straight to end the regular season, and have opened this season with eight straight. Dating back to last season's WCC Tournament the Bulldogs have won 19 straight over WCC competition. Gonzaga, which has won or shared seven of the last eight WCC regular-season titles, went 14-0 in West Coast Conference play in 2004, the first team since Pepperdine in 1992 to run the table. The Bulldogs posted back-to-back 13-1 seasons in 2001-02.

Since missing his first free throw of the game New Year's Eve against Saint Joseph's, Derek Raivio has made 26 straight. Raivio had a streak of 28 straight snapped Dec. 17 against Virginia. He tied the school record a year ago with 41 consecutive free throws. Raivio is a career 91.7 percent career free throw shooter, connecting on 165-of-180 attempts, to sit atop the Gonzaga career percentage chart.

After having its 17-game winning streak against Saint Mary's snapped with an 89-81 loss at McKeon Pavilion last season, Gonzaga brings a modest three-game winning streak against the Gaels into Monday's Big Monday matchup on ESPN2, including a 68-60 road win to open the West Coast Conference season on Jan. 7. The Bulldogs took last season's regular-season re-match in Spokane 68-63 and then defeated the Gaels 80-67 in the West Coast Conference Tournament title game at Santa Clara. Gonzaga has won 26 of the last 29 meetings with Saint Mary's. Gonzaga has won 10 straight at home against SMC, the last time the Gaels prevailing in Spokane a 68-63 verdict in 1995.

Gonzaga is still the top free throw shooting team in the country through games of Saturday, the Bulldogs connecting on 79.1 percent (408-516) after a 22-for-32 night against Santa Clara. Of the top seven teams, only Stanford was able to shoot better than 70.0 percent from the field in Saturday's games. Saint Joseph's is second at 78.9 percent after a 10-for-15 Saturday and Michigan State is third after a 17-for-25 Saturday. Gonzaga has had 10 games this season of 20 or more free throws made. The Bulldogs went 27-for-28 for 96.4 percent against Michigan State for the second-best percentage in school history, and 25-for-26 at Saint Mary's for 96.2 percent and the third best single-game percentage in school history. Gonzaga went 20-for-20 against Eastern Washington on Dec. 11, 1993, for the school record. The Gonzaga single-season record is 79.0 percent set by the 1989 squad.

Junior Sean Mallon scored a season-high 15 points in Saturday's win over Santa Clara, going 4-for-6 from the field, 1-for-2 from 3-point range and 6-for-7 from the free throw line. His previous best this season was 12 points against Washington State on Dec. 8. He also grabbed four rebounds and had an assist in 27 minutes of action.

A look to the future? One of the most electrifying plays last Saturday saw a pair of freshmen dial up as Jeremy Pargo launched a pass from just across mid-court to Larry Gurganious who was slicing in from the left wing for an alley-oop jam to bring the crowd to its feet.

Gonzaga has not lost back-to-back games since the 2002-03 season when the Bulldogs lost Dec. 28, 2002, against Stanford 81-71 in the Pete Newell Challenge in Oakland, Calif., and Dec. 31, 2002, at home to Saint Joseph's 79-78 in overtime. Gonzaga has played 94 games since that Saint Joseph's loss without losing back-to-back games.

Gonzaga has extended its streak of consecutive games with a 3-pointer to 414. The last time the Bulldogs failed to hit a trey was Jan. 27, 1993, going 0-for-5 at home against Portland.



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